Mucormycosis, or “black fungus”, is a potentially fatal infection affecting COVID-19 patients in India, where doctors believe it may be triggered by the use of steroids.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has issued an advisory, saying that the infection has been affecting “people who are on medication for other health problems that reduce their ability to fight environmental pathogens.”
Mucormycosis is a very rare infection. It is caused by exposure to mucor mould which is commonly found in soil, plants, manure, and decaying fruits and vegetables.
It affects the sinuses, the brain and the lungs and can be life-threatening in diabetic or severely immunocompromised individuals, such as cancer patients or people with HIV/AIDS.